Thursday, 6 June 2013

The Meatloaf Story

I did not grow up with meatloaf, and so I don't have the whole "comfort food" thing there. I tried it experimentally MANY times as an adult, and hated it every time. I tried many recipes, some given by well-meaning people who insisted I just needed a better recipe. Hated all of them, and came to the conclusion that I simply didn't like meatloaf. And I was OK with that, it's not like I needed to eat it.

For some reason about 5 years ago, I decided to try again. It was a series of accidental things. I had made a huge batch of sweet and sour sauce for Chinese food. I don't like most sweet and sour sauces (too sweet, SURPRISE!) so I have, over the years, perfected my own. It's just sweet enough, but not like having an ice cream topping sauce, which the commercial ones remind me of.  I had a lot leftover, and for some reason, I don't remember how or why, I used this on a version of the meatloaf recipe Rhiannon gave me.

And I freakin' loved it.

So here's the meatloaf:

2lbs LEAN ground beef
2 eggs (extra large, or use 3)
1 large onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced 
1/2 cup seasoned Italian breadcrumbs**
1 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 tbslp dried parsley
1 tblsp garlic powder
1 tbslp onion powder
4 large cloves minced garlic

All SMUSHED together well, and pushed down hard into baking dish. 

And here's the sauce:

1 tbslp onion powder
3/4 tblsp garlic powder
1 tbslp Maggi*
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp mustard powder
1 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar

Pour sauce over top, and bake. We often cook it in larger batches, and the time required varies by shape/size of container, but you'll need at least half an hour at 175C. 

This will SLICE, not slop. I mean, what's the point of a "loaf" that you need a spoon to serve it with? 

*Maggi is a commercial food additive which is mostly monosodium glutamate, a modern version of a seaweed extract from antiquity in the Far East, and is not the poison that some flakes claim it to be. Don't get me started. Still, some people claim to be sensitive to it, whatever, so a good substitute is soy sauce. 

**I use Aurora brand, there are other good brands, I don't think much of Pastene, but it's easy to make your own, just put some bread in a food processor, until you have crumbs. For every cup of crumbs add: 1/2 tsp each salt, pepper, parsley, oregano or marjoram, garlic powder, and onion powder, and a whole teaspoon of finely grated parmesan. 

Some more alert readers will notice an odd combination of Italian Breadcrumbs and Chinese Sweet and Sour Sauce. Yeah. I know. But I love it. You could always use plain breadcrumbs if the idea scares you.


  1. I'll tell you what scares me - the quantity of garlic! LOL I'll definitely need to scale that down a lot, or I'll be itching until christmas. ;)

    1. Yes, of course. I like a lot, but the main reason for it in the sauce is to offset the sweetness. I have almost figured out how it works, but not quite. There's a 4 part ratio of sweet to sour to garlic to heat, that if I get the balance just right, the sauce is to my taste (and to others, it seems).